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Lot # 954 (of 1389)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1917 Honus Wagner Day Pinback Production Proof

Starting Bid - $100, Sold For - $240

On June 22, 1917, the Pittsburgh Pirates paid homage to their greatest player by holding a special Honus Wagner Day, at Forbes Field. To commemorate the event, a pin was made as a souvenir of "Honus Wagner Day," featuring a portrait of the fabled "Flying Dutchman" in the center. Unfortunately, it is not known how many pins were ordered for the event or how they were distributed. What we do know, however, is that very few have survived. In fact, they are among the rarest of all one-day event player pins of the era. (Fewer than ten pinbacks are known. Interestingly, a few of these were saved by Wagner himself and long ago sold by the Wagner family!) Offered here is not the pin, but a very closely related item and the next best alternative for pin collectors who have been unable to locate a Honus Wagner Day pinback: an original paper insert used to manufacture the pin. From the files of the pin manufacturer, this is a 1917 file copy of the actual printed paper design used to manufacture the pin. The small production sheet, printed on paper stock, features a portrait image of Wagner in the center and is lettered "Wagner Day June 22, 1917" around the circular purple border. This is one of many pinback paper inserts that were discovered within the files of the Weber-Erickson Bunting Co. of Pittsburgh (the makers of the pin in 1917) and that eventually made their way into the hobby. (Most were not baseball-related pinback papers; a few 1917 "Honus Wagner Day" pinback proofs, of which this is one, were among the find. The production proof (1.75 x 1.75 inches) displays a tiny area of light discoloration in the upper left quadrant and is otherwise in Near Mint condition. SOLD FOR $240

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